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These governments privatised government corporations, deregulated factor markets, floated the Australian dollar and reduced trade protection. Keating, as federal treasurer, implemented a compulsory superannuation guarantee system in to increase national savings and reduce future government liability for old age pensions. Immigration to the mainland capitals by refugees had seen capital flows follow soon after, such as from war-torn Lebanon and Vietnam.

Latter economic-migrants from mainland China also, up to recent restrictions, had invested significantly in the property markets. In , a select group of Chilean students later known as the Chicago Boys were invited to the University of Chicago to pursue postgraduate studies in economics. They worked directly under Friedman and his disciple, Arnold Harberger , while also being exposed to Hayek. When they returned to Chile in the s, they began a concerted effort to spread the philosophy and policy recommendations of the Chicago and Austrian schools, setting up think tanks and publishing in ideologically sympathetic media.

Under the military dictatorship headed by Pinochet and severe social repression, the Chicago boys implemented radical economic reform. The latter half of the s witnessed rapid and extensive privatization, deregulation and reductions in trade barriers. In , policies that would reduce the role of the state and infuse competition and individualism into areas such as labor relations, pensions, health and education were introduced.

In , the military dictatorship ended.

Hayek argued that increased economic freedom had put pressure on the dictatorship over time and increased political freedom. Years earlier, he argued that "economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest; it is the control of the means for all our ends". The return of democracy required the defeat of the Pinochet regime, though it had been fundamental in saving capitalism.

The essential contribution came from profound mass rebellions and finally, old party elites using old institutional mechanisms to bring back democracy. The European Union EU is sometimes considered a neoliberal organization, as it facilitates free trade and freedom of movement , erodes national protectionism and limits national subsidies. Neoliberal ideas were first implemented in West Germany. The economists around Ludwig Erhard drew on the theories they had developed in the s and s and contributed to West Germany's reconstruction after the Second World War. He pointed out that he is commonly classified as neoliberal and that he accepted this classification.

The ordoliberal Freiburg School was more pragmatic. The German neoliberals accepted the classical liberal notion that competition drives economic prosperity, but they argued that a laissez-faire state policy stifles competition as the strong devour the weak since monopolies and cartels could pose a threat to freedom of competition. They supported the creation of a well-developed legal system and capable regulatory apparatus. While still opposed to full-scale Keynesian employment policies or an extensive welfare state , German neoliberal theory was marked by the willingness to place humanistic and social values on par with economic efficiency.

Erhard emphasized that the market was inherently social and did not need to be made so.

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By the name of Volkskapitalismus , there were some efforts to foster private savings. However, although average contributions to the public old age insurance were quite small, it remained by far the most important old age income source for a majority of the German population, therefore despite liberal rhetoric the s witnessed what has been called a "reluctant expansion of the welfare state". To end widespread poverty among the elderly the pension reform of brought a significant extension of the German welfare state which already had been established under Otto von Bismarck.

Hayek did not like the expression "social market economy", but stated in that some of his friends in Germany had succeeded in implementing the sort of social order for which he was pleading while using that phrase. However, in Hayek's view the social market economy's aiming for both a market economy and social justice was a muddle of inconsistent aims. As an answer to Hans Hellwig's complaints about the interventionist excesses of the Erhard ministry and the ordoliberals, Mises wrote: "I have no illusions about the true character of the politics and politicians of the social market economy".

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In Germany, neoliberalism at first was synonymous with both ordoliberalism and social market economy. But over time the original term neoliberalism gradually disappeared since social market economy was a much more positive term and fit better into the Wirtschaftswunder economic miracle mentality of the s and s. The Middle East experienced an onset of neoliberal policies from the late s onwards. In Tunisia, neoliberal economic policies are associated with Ben Ali's dictatorship, [83] where the linkages between authoritarianism and neoliberalism become clear.

After Neoliberalism

During her tenure as Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher oversaw a number of neoliberal reforms including: tax reduction, reforming exchange rates, deregulation and privatisation. Instead, the Labour government under Tony Blair finished off a variety of uncompleted privatisation and deregulation measures. The Adam Smith Institute , a United Kingdom-based free market think tank and lobbying group formed in and a major driver of the aforementioned neoliberal reforms, [89] officially changed its libertarian label to neoliberal in October David Harvey traces the rise of neoliberalism in the United States to Lewis Powell's confidential memorandum to the Chamber of Commerce.

For Powell, universities were becoming an ideological battleground, and he recommended the establishment of an intellectual infrastructure to serve as a counterweight to the increasingly popular ideas of Ralph Nader and other opponents of big business. Early roots of neoliberalism were laid in the s during the Carter administration , with deregulation of the trucking , banking and airline industries.

During the s, the Clinton administration also embraced neoliberalism [88] by supporting the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA , continuing the deregulation of the financial sector through passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the repeal of the Glass—Steagall Act and implementing cuts to the welfare state through passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. Instead, Chait suggested this came from arguments that presented a false dichotomy between free market economics and socialism, ignoring mixed economies.


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These neoliberal policies are commonly referred to as Rogernomics , a portmanteau of "Roger" and "economics", after Lange appointed Roger Douglas minister of finance in Lange's government had inherited a severe balance of payments crisis as a result of the deficits from the previously implemented two-year freeze on wages and prices by preceding Prime Minister Robert Muldoon who had also stubbornly maintained an unsustainable exchange rate. A reform program consisting of deregulation and the removal of tariffs and subsidies was put in place which consequently affected New Zealand's agricultural community , who were hit hard by the loss of subsidies to farmers.

The finance markets were also deregulated, removing restrictions on interests rates, lending and foreign exchange and in March , the New Zealand dollar was floated. New Zealand became a part of a global economy. The focus in the economy shifted from the productive sector to finance as a result of zero restrictions on overseas money coming into the country. Finance capital outstripped industrial capital and subsequently, the manufacturing industry suffered approximately 76, job losses. The Austrian School is a school of economic thought which bases its study of economic phenomena on the interpretation and analysis of the purposeful actions of individuals.

Among the contributions of the Austrian School to economic theory are the subjective theory of value , marginalism in price theory and the formulation of the economic calculation problem. The Austrian School follows an approach, termed methodological individualism , a version of which was codified by Ludwig von Mises and termed " praxeology " in his book published in English as Human Action in The former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan , speaking of the originators of the School, said in that "the Austrian School have reached far into the future from when most of them practiced and have had a profound and, in my judgment, probably an irreversible effect on how most mainstream economists think in this country".

Buchanan told an interviewer: "I have no objections to being called an Austrian. Hayek and Mises might consider me an Austrian but, surely some of the others would not".

Neoliberal Culture: Living with American Neoliberalism by Patricia Ventura

The Chicago school of economics describes a neoclassical school of thought within the academic community of economists, with a strong focus around the faculty of the University of Chicago. Chicago macroeconomic theory rejected Keynesianism in favor of monetarism until the mids, when it turned to new classical macroeconomics heavily based on the concept of rational expectations. The school emphasizes non-intervention from government and generally rejects regulation in markets as inefficient with the exception of central bank regulation of the money supply i.

Although the school's association with neoliberalism is sometimes resisted by its proponents, [] its emphasis on reduced government intervention in the economy and a laissez-faire ideology have brought about an affiliation between the Chicago school and neoliberal economics. In The Road to Serfdom , F. Hayek argued: "Economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest; it is the control of the means for all our ends".

Milton Friedman later argued in his book Capitalism and Freedom that economic freedom , while itself an extremely important component of total freedom , is also a necessary condition for political freedom. He claimed that centralized control of economic activities is always accompanied by political repression.

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Monthly Review | Neoliberal Capitalism at a Dead End

In his view, the voluntary character of all transactions in an unregulated market economy and wide diversity that it permits are fundamental threats to repressive political leaders that greatly diminish the power to coerce. Through the elimination of centralized control of economic activities, economic power is separated from political power and each can serve as a counterbalance to the other. Friedman feels that competitive capitalism is especially important to minority groups since impersonal market forces protect people from discrimination in their economic activities for reasons unrelated to their productivity.

In a response to critics he claims accuse him of endorsing "the neoliberalization of academic life," Stanley Fish argues that academics should not engage in civic or democratic action in their role as academics. Fish claims academic freedom applies only within the university and the classroom, which are not the appropriate venues for taking stands on social or political issues.

Neoliberalism has its share of criticism in both left-wing politics and right-wing politics , [] with activists and academics alike criticizing it. Thomas Marois and Lucia Pradella posit that the impact of the global — crisis has given rise to a surge in new scholarship that criticizes neoliberalism and seeks policy alternatives.

Much of the literature in support of neoliberalism relies on the idea that neoliberal market logic improves a narrow monetized conception of performance, which may not necessarily be the best approach. This focus on economic efficiency can compromise other, perhaps more important, factors, or promote exploitation and social injustice. For instance, anthropologist Mark Fleming argues that when the performance of a transit system is assessed purely in terms of economic efficiency, social goods such as strong workers' rights are considered impediments to maximum performance.

However, he argues that the neoliberal worldview singled out transit drivers and their labor unions as the sources of these issues, considering additional costs for paying drivers as losses in system speed and performance and viewing drivers as lazy for failing to meet impossible transit schedules. This produced vicious attacks on the drivers' union and brutal public smear campaigns , ultimately resulting in the passing of Proposition G, which severely undermined the powers of the Muni drivers' union.

Other critics contend that the neoliberal vision de-emphasizes public goods that are not conventionally monetized. For example, the geographers Birch and Siemiatycki contend that the growth of marketization ideology has shifted discourse on public goods to monetary rather than social objectives, making it harder to justify public goods driven by equity , environmental concerns or social justice. Despite the focus on economic efficiency, some critics allege neoliberalism actually produces economic inefficiencies. For instance, the replacement of a government-owned monopoly with privately-owned companies , each supposedly competing to provide the consumer a better value or service than its competitors, removes the efficiency that can be gained from economies of scale.

The main solution is seen in social controls of the economy to prevent damages, namely the precautionary principle and the reversal of the burden of proof. This markedly differs from neoclassical and neoliberal solutions that propose taxes, bargaining, or judicial process. It has often been pointed out that increasing economic freedoms tend to raise expectations on political freedoms. Critics argue that neoliberal policies have increased economic inequality [2] : 7 [] and exacerbated global poverty.

The report contends that the implementation of neoliberal policies by economic and political elites has led to "three disquieting conclusions":. Countries have applied neoliberal policies at varying levels of intensity. Some scholars see rising inequality due to neoliberal policies as a deliberate effort, rather than a consequence of ulterior motives like increasing economic growth. Marxist political economist David Harvey described neoliberalism as a class project designed to impose class on society. Kotz contends that neoliberalism "is based on the thorough domination of labor by capital ".

Sociologist Thomas Volscho argues that the imposition of neoliberalism in the United States arose from a conscious political mobilization by capitalist elites in the s who faced two self-described crises: the legitimacy of capitalism and a falling rate of profitability in industry. Various neoliberal ideologies such as monetarism and supply-side economics had been long advanced by elites, translated into policies by the Reagan administration and ultimately resulted in less governmental regulation and a shift from a tax-financed state to a debt-financed one.

While the profitability of industry and the rate of economic growth never recovered to the heyday of the s, the political and economic power of Wall Street and finance capital vastly increased due to the debt-financing of the state. In The Global Gamble , Peter Gowan argued that "neoliberalism" was not only a free-market ideology but "a social engineering project". Globally, it meant opening a state's political economy to products and financial flows from the core countries.